Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spreading information is never in vain!

Tobold wrote about something really important. He said that it's not a good time to start an MMO blog. The topic is discussed to the death. There isn't anything to write that haven't been written down, except for personal fluffs and feelings that no one cares about. In the scientific sense, he is correct. I doubt that there is a sane question one can come up in the MMO world that you can't google up an answer. Everything that you could say is repetition (or irrelevant rant). Why bother?

When I started EVE, I was worried about things like that. I was a newbie trying to talk about something that others are doing for almost a decade. Why should anyone read my posts? Will I write anything worthy? And above all: will I do anything worth mentioning or will I be noob_mining_veldspar_#548154?

The answer for both is pretty clear. My blog visits were constantly declining along with the subscribers to WoW. In 2011 Aug I had 178K visits, in 2012 Feb, only 137K. Then I started writing about EVE and got 155K in March and 153K in April (April is 30 days, if I'd be 31 like March, it would be 158K). But the stunning thing was my income in EVE. In only in my third month of playing I reached the income worth 1 PLEX (E15 in the item shop) every day. Few players have achieved it after years. I'm already in the top 10% earners of the EVE players, probably in top 1%. My ideas about making money in these game indeed work.

How? How can a new player outdo most veterans? The same way as the Goons managed to shoot down anyone in their Jita gank event, despite it's been on the blogs and forums for a month: most players are terribly uninformed. If I'd have to guess, I'd say 80% of the MMO players are virgin land for bloggers. Someone to inform. Someone to write to. "OK, if he'll ever be interested about reading something he'll Google it up, you aren't needed" - Tobold would say. He is wrong, because people are not like him. Not nearly as smart and not at all rational. They have average logic and they are socials. Both statements open fields for you to blog.

"Average logic" means "unable to follow abstractly proven points". Let me give an example. Two months ago I wrote that the proper way of transporting small but valuable items in EVE is in a small, fragile but fast ships. I explained that the pirates have very little time to click on them, scan them to evaluate if they worth attacking and perform the attack. For me, this data and the logical conclusions were enough to determine it's the proper way. But look at the comment section: 95% wrote that it's extremely dangerous and plain nonsense and you shall use a huge battleship. They also linked examples where people lost their small ships with expensive cargo. And these are the published comments, this post received extreme amount of trolls with variations of "lol 1mo n00b talking nonsense" and "ur ass will be ownd if u do this shit".

Two months passed. Most of my profit is made by interceptors carrying 1-2B worth of cargo around. For smaller loads (below 100M) I am too lazy to relog and my main carries it in the same T1 frigate I used back then. My main was targeted some times, probably because I'm somewhat famous. My alts, never. Obviously I lost no cargo to pirates. I also googled up the "examples" that prove I'm wrong. Every one of them were autopiloting (very slow) or wardecced (police don't help him). I also figured out why no pirate even tries to catch me: because the time needed to identify my interceptor alts, figure out when they are full and when empty and waiting for them to actually show up (as I play in pretty random schedule) simply don't worth it. In the same time he can catch a dozen idiots who autopilot on the Perimiter gate with 500M+ in the hold and less than 10K EHP.

My post isn't any more true than it was when I published it. The logic and reasoning is the same. One could Google that post up, why to write it down again? Because people with average logic wouldn't believe it. It doesn't feel right to carry value in something so small. Also, "most people" disagree, so it's surely wrong. Now I can say "I have huge income from it and never been ganked. It works." It's simple proof. They are capable to accept this. If you do the same experiment, you can provide proof to your readers. They don't want theories and logic what Google can find, since it's abstract and debated. They want simple proof.

Them being socials opens another important field for you to blog. While evaluating a statement on its own is one of the most basic steps of rational thinking, most people are incapable to do so. Socials value a statement after the speaker. The internet is full of ad hominem attacks and reductio ad Hitlerum because it works on socials. If the social views a person "evil" or "wortless" he doesn't believe his statement, regardless of its value. On the other hand he is ready to believe the most ridiculous nonsense if he likes and values the speaker.

In the scientific world repetition is pointless or even plagiarism. It's already written, anyone can find it. But out here, in the World littered with partially civilized apes, repetition is extremely important. If you are a good writer and get a readerbase, they will accept truth from you that they wouldn't from me or Tobold or some random guy Google threw up.

Is the time to write something new and shocking about MMOs have passed? Probably. Is it passed to teach the general public? Never. If you can write, you are needed. If you write in my field, send me a link in comment after having a dozen or so posts. If they are good, I'll link it. That's probably a couple hundred redirected visitors.

Moron of the day was sent by Garak the Tailor:
This book sells for 31.5 at vendors. Please, don't turn off the warning for setting a price out of the range of the regional price.

EVE Business report: Thursday morning 18.2B (2 PLEX behind for second account, 0.3B spent on Titan project)
Remember that you can participate in our EVE conversations on the "goblinworks" channel (60-80 people on peak time) and your UI suggestions are welcomed.


Anonymous said...

"Socials value a statement after the speaker."..."If the social views a person "evil" or "wortless" he doesn't believe his statement, regardless of its value".

I bed to differ. This is clearly a moron characteristic. Socials = morons is a generalisation.

I agree with the rest of the article. I can also confirm that carrying small valuable things, worth to be suicide ganked, like skillbooks or implants on a fragile - but fast ship - is pretty safe.

Werner Kaladan

Not logging in for obvious reasons said...

Dang! I thought I am the only one hauling 100M+ in frigates (except my friends who followed my idea).
I actually made quite extensive research to verify my ideas and tested cargo scanning myself. Frigates are practically unscannable if not autopiloted. I'm also dock/undock bookmarking.
Interesting thing is that I barely found any mention of such activity on the web. Looks like EVE community is much less flexible than I tought - or we are wrong about this frigate hauling :)

Azuriel said...

I read your posts because they are entertaining. I don't play EVE, I frequently disagree with your assertions, but you are nevertheless interesting to read.

It is not just about informing new players, it is also about entertaining them. And we can never have too many entertaining blog writers.

Ephemeron said...

On a semi-related note, I've given some thought to the puzzle that you posted some time ago - namely, how to "prove via pwning" without griefing? - and I believe I have an answer.

There is one very special goal in EVE, you see:

- It is extremely exclusive - less than 0.01% of the players have ever achieved it, so reaching it will clearly mark you as an extraordinary individual worth listening to.
- It requires extensive research of all game mechanics, as well has their past history and possible future evolution.
- It takes great reserves of ISK to achieve, yet cannot be solved by crude PLEX spamming.
- It involves winning one of the most cutthroat competitions that exist in the game.
- It requires both theoretical knowledge of social ape subroutines and the practical skill at manipulating them.
- If you manage to reach this goal, you will have a perfect platform not only to preach your ideas, but to enact them in practice. And even if you try and fail, you will still get the limelight for long enough to get your message out there.

The best way for you to win EVE and pwn the socials once and for all is to get elected to CSM.

MoxNix said...

You're absolutely right about using small fast ships to transport things.

To me that was completely obvious from the very start... A no brainer!

Making ISK in eve is trivial. I spend maybe 12 hours a month trading and make more than enough to buy a plex and everything I need for right now.

Tuzvihar said...

Another important thing is, that the multiple sources of information are often not written on the same 'skill' level. Lets say, your real life skill is from 1-10, 1 is beginner 10 is one with a Nobel price. If you are currently at level 4 in EVE, you probably can't really undestand the level 10 ideas and explanations. You can teach or learn from people easier, who around the same level of understanding as you.

Does this make sense?

Anonymous said...

Weird. My EVE pro friends, one of whom is on the CSM, have always told me to move shinies on low sig/fast align ships; unless there's a legitimate risk of smartbombing.

I thought that is the general consensus, apparently I was wrong.

Which is not to say one cannot be podded in a frigate, especially when Goons be Goons. They recently lost a Velator with 6 billions of cargo in Jita. Now, that is what I call a terrible "fast" fit. There's no point to place stabbers on a ship that can be alpha'd. It's much better to fit nanofibers.

Finally, the fastest way to tell something about a ship is not by scanning it, but by simply looking at it. Many modules have visible graphic representation. When you want to be undistinguishable from a newbie frigate, don't fit a visual cue that says otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Only you don't blog about MMO games. You mainly blog about ideas and apply them to games now and then.

Gesh said...

I want to make two things:

- to congratulate on your success - congratulations!

- to note the following: "My blog visits were constantly declining along with the subscribers to WoW." The decline of WoW subs was not the culprit of the decay of your blog. The content you posted was. But you found the change of the direction you needed.

Belloche said...

I have friends that are professional gankers. One guy dual boxes and his scanning alt that scans you two jumps away has a scan res of over 3000 and he scans frigates, inties, and blockade runners regularly before they warp to the outgate. Please do not think you are totally safe moving your goods in small fast ships. It IS safer but not totally safe. I normally use the corp hangar on an orca to move really high value items.

Gevlon said...

@Belloche: nothing is safe. You can run into a bored jerk who just blow you up for "lulz".

"Safe" in EVE means: "you can run this way without your losses become significant compared to your gains".

Aureon said...

Actually, everyone uses frigates for small stuff. Usually cov ops or interdictors, but still.
Orca's are mainly for 10b+ stuff and/or APing.
Being able to autopilot with tons of stuff is a ridicolously high gain, and that's why everyone was suggesting orcas.
Nothing more, nothing less.

antronics said...

..I really like the idea of Gevlon running for CSM, and maybe even CCP pick him up as a dev. Along with a lot of ideas that would ruin Eve, Gevlon has a lot of ideas that would improve the game.

The problem is, he is not a popular opinion kind of guy. The majority of the vote wants smaller station taxes, higher mission rewards, and a cold six pack of quafe.

All Gevlon has to offer them is complex theories and a snarky personality. No offense intended.

The only way I see this having a chance is if Gevlon becomes a loud voice in the Market, New Players, and CAOD forums on the official Eve forums.

Maybe all readers of this blog can put a link to here in there Eve-o sig?

Never the less, Gevlon would get my vote.

Hivemind said...

I went back and read your post on moving shinies, it contains a lot of errors (flying around stations to align? Really?) missed out valuable information, presumably because you hadn't run across it yet (instawarp bookmarks) and was generally inaccurate, again probably from lack of experience (suggesting people run the route unloaded and see if they target anything back... doesn't work because gank scanners use passive targeters). All of these points were brought up in the comments.

A few of the comments did say that transporting in frigates is a stupid idea, but most of them simply made better suggestions - there is a ratio of ship strength to value it can 'safely' transport that came up in the comments, as did the threat that smartbomb battleships pose to frigates. I'd actually go so far as to argue that you're the one demonstrating "average logic" - the commenters abstractly proved that there were better alternatives than a fast frigate, you refuse to accept this because you've had successes with moving them via frigates (Note: To most EVE players, Frigates do not = Interceptors, which are a much better choice).

To put it bluntly: Transporting via frigates will work fine, right up until it doesn't.
Sooner or later you will run into a kamikaze smartbombing battleship, or a moment of lag that lets a camper lock, scram and pop you, and then you will lose the frigate and its cargo. IF you are willing to swallow that loss, you will succeed with most frig/inty shipments through simple speed, but that doesn't change the fact that such losses DO happen, and (at least as far as I'm concerned) that alone proves that shipping via Frigate is not "The right way" to transport shinies.

For what it's worth, I'll chip in that the 'best' way to transport shinies (in my opinion at least) is via courier contract, with the collateral set to 1.5x the buy value of said shiny; if it gets through then all the better, if it dies you make enough to buy a new shiny and have actually profited from the loss. If you need it delivered sooner than you expect a courier contract to go through, in the corp hangars of a heavily tanked Orca would be my 2nd choice (preferably with an alt to web you and another to scout for you), if you absolutely, positively HAVE to get it there faster than that will provide then my third choice would be a fast frigate, preferably a CovOps, but Inty would be backup.

Regarding the trolling comments... They certainly could have been more constructive (or constructive at all...) but they weren't exactly wrong; you *were* a new player, making inaccurate recommendations to other new players that may well get them killed. You can always rely on the EVE comunity to tell you when you're wrong - we take great pleasure in it (myself included).

Finally (It has taken a while, hasn't it?) addressing the point in *this* post rather than the older post you referenced here. You are arguing that providing more information to those who have none is a good and valuable goal. This is entirely true. Is it a realistic goal, however? On this, I think we are going to disagree. I believe that most EVE players completely ignore the metagame, whether that's a fine detail such as The Mittani's tweets or a wide scale one, such as just readin EN24. They simply do not care about the game outside of EVE itself, until the metagame forces itself upon them (via Hulkageddon sponsored kills, for example). Even then they are unlikely to go to out-of game sources to determine why they died. Will your posts (questionable though their accuracy is) help any of these players? Answer: Probably not. It is a *minority* of EVE players who read blogs, follow events like Hulkageddon, etc. Posting more will not raise the awareness of the already-oblivious masses, sad to say. For a few, losing ships will do, but even then most won't be swayed from ingame info only.

N said...

"In the scientific world repetition is pointless or even plagiarism."

That's actually not true, and the reason it isn't true is what makes your efforts in EVE valuable. One of the most critical steps in proper science is the reproduction and repetition of a result - that is what shows that it is a general result, and the way to discover any refinements that may be necessary.

Anonymous said...

Belloche, you're being ridiculous. You CANNOT target a near-instawarp frigate with nanos, simply because you do not have the time to see him, click on him, target him, and shoot him, before he warps. Barring a huge error, autopilot, falling asleep, or a bubble (obviously only a null sec issue) you just can't do it.

This is the same reason flying around in null with a frigate/interceptor is virtually safe.

Buggrit said...

Moving on a small ship has proven to me to work very well. Before current changes to trails, a stealth bomber (properly fit w/ warp + nanos) was just about invulnerable as you stealthed immediately. Its still a very good option.

Going on low sec, its VERY advisable to have go-to warpins at about 200k off the gate. There are disco BS (8 smartbombs) ambushing the small stuff that warp to 0. Sure you're fast - but so is he.

Good choices: Interceptor (minnie), dramiel, jaguar, stealth bomber.
T1 frig not advised - big sig and so on.

Sooru said...

I very much agree about your spreading information statement. It's never a bad time to try to educate fellow gamers, or humans in general.

A while ago, me and a friend were hoping to get access to Diablo 3 beta. To pass the time, we figured we'd start a blog about the game. Both had been thinking about taking up blogging in past, but this mutual goal was enough to make it reality.

We then got access to the beta too, but my access soon died for some mysterious reason, and he was more occupied with other game development projects, so we didn't get much of a chance to test things in beta and report our findings. The goal of our blog was to offer information to the readers that would help them play the game better. For a while I was disappointed not being able to try things out there myself. But then I found a new way to approach the subject.

There were already several people who know almost everything there is to be known about the game at this state, or at least some part of it. You know who you are, if you're reading this ;-D. They would test things out, and post this information as a reply to a forum thread, or maybe start a new one, if it was grand enough a finding.

The problem was, these threads would get lost among all the "Rate my build #687534354" nonsense, and it took me a while to start organizing a list of links even for myself. Then I realized why not do the service for others too. I think we've found a niche there, we'll collect information produced by the greatest minds of the community and organize it into clearly readable and understandable format. At least until we get to start trying other things ourselves when the game goes live, and blogging about our own experiences too ;-D